THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT DURING PHOTO OPPORTUNITY WITH ECONOMIC ADVISERS AND SIGNING OF EXECUTIVE ORDER
The Roosevelt Room
11:30 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: This is the executive order which establishes the National Economic Council and which brings into the economic policy-making of the federal government not just the traditional secretaries of Treasury, OMB, the Council of Economic Advisers, but also the Departments of Commerce, Labor, Agriculture, HUD, Transportation, Energy, EPA, as well as the Trade Office, State, so that we can all work together. I want to thank all of the people around this table for all the work they've done on this and especially Mr. Rubin, for the work that he's done to try to reconcile all these things. I believe that this will enable us to make economic policy in a much more specific, clear and effective way than the federal government has in quite a long while.
(The document is signed.)
Q If the Joint Chiefs oppose this lifting of the ban on gays in the military, are you still going to go ahead with that?
THE PRESIDENT: I'm going to meet with them and discuss it this afternoon. But I intend to keep my commitment. I want their input on how we should do it, however. I think they're entitled to really be listened to on a lot of the practical issues.
Q Is this part of what you said in your Inaugural Address, that it will require sacrifice?
THE PRESIDENT: I think everybody wants to make a contribution to solving these problems, and we're going to give everyone the opportunity to do that.
Q How quickly will you lift this ban, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: I don't have anything else to say about it right now. We're going to have a meeting --
Q Are you going to have a meeting on it?
THE PRESIDENT: I want to talk to the Joint Chiefs about that and then I'll have a statement to make later.
THE PRESIDENT: I don't know. We've got a lot of other things to do today. Maybe, I don't know.
Q Mr. President, can you say anything about the consumption tax that Senator Bentsen addressed yesterday?
THE PRESIDENT: No. I thought he did a very good job on television. I wasn't sure that I was reading about the same interview in the press this morning. He said that no decision had been made, and no decision has been made. We have a lot of options under consideration, but no decision has been made.
THE PRESS:Thank you, Mr. President.
END 11:34 A.M. EST